80 °F Puerto Penasco, MX
June 24, 2019

Beached grey whale in area of Playa Encanto to be left to the elements

By José Antonio Pérez

A beached grey whale, measuring approximately 25 meters long and weighing about 25 tons, washed up on the coast of Playa Encanto to the east of Puerto Peñasco, representing the second time this has happened this year.

Luis César García González, local director of the Federal Maritime Land Zone (ZOFEMAT), confirmed the whale washed up about 17 kilometers southeast of the city, and notice given to the Federal Environmental Protection Office (PROFEPA) to prevent further disturbances or public health risks.

He explained, upon review, authorities determined the grey whale carcass was in an advanced stage of decomposition and had been dead for several days though the cause of death was undetermined.  As the area where the beached whale is located is difficult to access, as well as far-removed from any population centers, PROFEPA inspectors decided to leave the whale carcass on site and to the elements.

Biologist Humberto González Veliz confirmed the beached whale is that of a grey whale, which is neither normal or common for the Upper Gulf of California.  He stated there are no signs of human intervention on the whale, therefore it may have died from causes attributable to global climate change.

On April 15th, also of this year, a 15 meter long carcass of a grey whale washed up on the shores in front of the Las Olas 2 section in Las Conchas.  Given the advanced decomposition of that whale, removal consisted of cutting up the carcass for burial in an unpopulated area.

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